Rainbow News

Every week Mrs Harris, Otto and Penny will share the interesting things they discover on their walks in the forest.

Week 1

Day 1

Look what we found in the forest today. It is an intriguing wooden cabin with lots of windows. Here’s some things to think about:

  • Gather your ideas together for a creative story using ‘who’, ‘where’, ‘when’, what happened’, ‘the end’. Retell your story to someone at home.
  • I walked around the cabin but couldn’t find a door. Can you write a list of why you think the cabin was built?

How many windows has the cabin got? Design your own cabin and arrange the windows in a different way.

Day 2

I couldn’t believe it when I saw this arch covered in moss!

  • Write a creative story which involves someone or something going through this archway…. what awaits on the other side?
  • Draw your own forest scene showing other archways and shapes covered in moss.

Design an obstacle course for the creatures that live in the forest. The course starts with the animal going through the hoop!

Day 3

Here’s a lovely collection of prickly pine cones. Can you find out the answers to the following questions?

  • What tree have they fallen from?
  • What are pine cones for?
  • Why do pine cones close their scales?
  • What happens when their scales open up?

How long can pine cones stay on a tree before dropping to the ground?

Day 4

This blossom looked beautiful in the sunshine today! Let’s try and find out some facts about blossom:

  • Can you name some trees that have blossom on?
  • What is the purpose of blossom?
  • How do these trees lose their lovely blossom?

Draw your own blossom tree, and in your picture show other signs of spring. Now draw the same tree in different seasons.

Day 5

This tree has been felled in the forest. If you look carefully you will see the rings in the tree.

  • Can you find out some information about what this cross section would tell us about the age of this tree?
  • Draw your own cross section showing the lines … make sure your rings don’t touch each other!

Look out in Rainbow News next week for more of our adventures in the forest!!

Week 2

Day 1

On our walk today, we came across this flag blowing in the breeze. Let’s explore this flag in more detail.

  • Why is it called the Union flag, or Union Jack?
  • What is the Union Jack made up of?
  • Is this flag flying the correct way up?

 

Now, design your own flag for Andrews’ Endowed School. Attach it to a ruler, or a stick and wave it in the air!

Day 2

Look at this ivy creeping around the tree. Now imagine this tree is a home to some creatures and it is growing in an enchanted forest. Use the following prompts to help you create your own story:

  • Who are the characters in your story?
  • Where is your story set?
  • When is your story set? This could include what time of day, or season.
  • What happened? Make sure something interesting happens so the person listening wants to hear more!

The end– make sure you solve the problem at the end.

Day 3

Otto wanted to be in this photo! Look at the huge log pile behind him! Can you imagine how many creatures have made their homes here?

  • Draw a design of your own bug hotel. Think about the different layers you would like and the textures you could use. Label your drawing to show the items someone would need to collect if they made it.

Do you need any signs for your bugs, or are there any rules they have to follow if they want to live in it?

Day 4

If you look carefully in this photo there are some buds on the tree. Can you find out some information about buds:

  • What is in the bud?
  • What time of year do you see buds on the trees?
  • Do all buds look the same?

 

Now imagine the same tree through the seasons. Draw what the tree would look like in Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.  In your picture show what happens to the weather in each of the seasons.

Day 5

Here’s a shelter that some school children made as part of their forest school. Imagine this was your den. What would you put in it to make it special to you?

Otto and Penny would probably like a dog bed each, some fresh water, a squeaky toy, a pot of dog treats, photos of their dog friends and their favourite book ‘Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy’.

Join us next week for more of our adventures in the forest!!

Week 3

This week Mrs Harris took Otto and Penny on their Easter walk. Look at the interesting things we found this week.

Day 1

WHO’S THAT TRIP TRAPPING OVER MY BRIDGE?!!

Luckily when Penny went over the bridge the troll was not there!

This bridge has recently been built and it replaced a rickety old one. It’s a very simple design.

Can you design some features that would make the bridge more interesting? Think about all the living things in the forest and how you could represent them on the bridge.

Day 2

These lovely Easter bunnies came on our walk today and we found a perfect seat for them in this tree. Just imagine for a moment, sitting here and using your senses:

  • What can you HEAR in the forest?
  • How do the textures FEEL around you ?
  • From your tree seat, what can you SEE?
  • It’s spring in the forest, so what can you SMELL ?

And now the most important TASTE………. what would you pack in your forest picnic?!

Day 3

Look closely at the photo and you’ll see a tree top adventure! Now let’s see if you can create one of your own.

  • Stick 2 pieces of paper together so you have a long piece for your design
  • Draw 6 tall pine trees across your whole piece of paper.
  • Make sure you draw a ladder up from the ground, to the top of the first tree and a zip wire at the end so you can get down. ( Very important feature!)

In the photo, you can see wooden circles to tread on before reaching the platform. What shape would you choose? Enjoy designing!

Day 4

Who lives in a house like this? Surely it needs a front door?

  • Once you have designed the front door, now is your chance to be an interior designer.
  • Think about the materials the resident would be able to find in the forest.
  • What style of bed would they sleep in, how do they heat their home and what cooking facilities do they need in their kitchen area?

Now you’ve got an idea of the character and the setting, think about what a normal day would be like in this lovely cosy household.

Day 5

Look at this Victorian street light we found on our walk today. Let’s be history detectives and find out more information.

  • Who was in charge of lighting the street lamps in Victorian times?
  • What made them glow?
  • When were these street lamps replaced by the ones we have today?

What were the old street lamps made of?

Join us again next week as we discover more interesting things on our walks !

Week 4

This week we have come across some really interesting things to share with you on our daily walks.

Day 1

Well I couldn’t believe my luck today. Otto and Penny had their leads on ready for their walk when I spotted a bee heading to these beautiful flowers. I watched as the bee went from flower to flower collecting the pollen. Let’s think about bees for a moment:

  • What was this bee doing?
  • If you attract more bees to your garden, what are the benefits?

Design your own bee house. Make sure you have lots of nesting holes and use different materials. Make sure it’s a ‘Grand Design’!

Day 2

What a treat this evening…. the alpacas are back! Otto and Penny were very interested in them but the alpacas just carried on eating the grass. The farmer keeps this herd to use their wool to make clothes. Now it’s your chance to be a fashion designer. Can you create designs for the following:

  • Jumper
  • Scarf
  • Hat

Natural dyes are used on the alpaca wool to create beautiful colours. Now that you have designed your fashion range, what plants, flowers or fruits could you use to create the colours you need?

Now you’ve been creative, can you think of names for the 7 alpacas in the photo!

Day 3

Let’s talk about Otto and Penny!! After all they are the ones who take me on walks every day and have to be patient whilst I take the photos. They are Flat coated retrievers, and are brother and sister. Can you create a fact file about their breed or a dog you know which could include:

  • Weight and height
  • Temperament
  • Colour
  • Energy level
  • Colour of eyes

Exercise requirements

Day 4

Look at this magnificent oak tree! It was planted 150 years ago! Let’s trace back through time to when it was first planted.

Who was the prime minister then?

Who was on the throne?

What was this period in history called?

The oak tree is said to be one of the most loved trees in the world. I was in awe of this magnificent tree when I stood under it and looked up through the canopy. Why do you think makes oak trees so special?

Day 5

Look at this beauty! It’s a Red Admiral and it was basking in the sun. Caterpillars and butterflies are attracted to certain plants. Imagine you are designing a garden for the Chelsea Flower Show in London to encourage butterflies to visit. Consider the following points:

  • The shape will your pond and position of the water feature/fountain
  • The pathway leading around your garden
  • Don’t forget a shed to store all the equipment

Now the important part……..the seating area so you can watch all the butterflies!

Join us for more nature walks in the forest next week!

Week 5

We’ve got lots of interesting photos to share with you from our walks this week.

Day 1

OK let’s all just take a moment…….

We came across this bench in the dappled shade on a beautifully clear day. Otto was keeping an eye on any dogs going past, but I was enjoying the view…. I could see for miles.

Let’s all imagine we are on that bench.

 who are you with?

 what are you talking about?

what view can you see from your bench?

Day 2

I was so pleased to find this sculpture in the forest today. This hand carved oak structure is hidden amongst the trees and offers a shelter and rest point for walkers to experience the artwork from outside and within.

Through the patterned door at the rear was a fabulous view.  Can you design a wooden shelter? What design would you create on the doors? Finally where would you build your structure …imagine what you would like to see when you open the doors. This could be a place that you know, or an imaginary world.

Day 3

These tiny windows are part of the same sculpture. Just imagine peeping through these windows. It’s a bit like when you sit quietly in a bird hide and watch the wildlife without making a sound!

Imagine you are waiting patiently in here:

  • What creatures would you see in the forest in the day? (Not including Otto and Penny!)

Which creatures are nocturnal and waiting until the sun goes down?

Day 4

Here’s a really old tree growing in the forest! Its trunk and branches are an interesting shape. Yew trees can live for a very long time, many of the largest and oldest can be found in churchyards and some can be more than 2000 years old. Can you find out some facts about Yew trees? Also why are they often found growing beside churches?

Day 5

These flower sculptures are made from wood. Look at the star shape in the middle. There were 15 of them on metal stakes in the forest.

Draw your own set of ‘forest flowers’. Can you design each one with a different centre?

Join us next time for more walks in the forest with Otto and Penny, hopefully less muddy ones!

Week 6

What a lot of excitement in our garden this week…..

Day 1

The swarm of bees arrived in the garden on Monday evening! Otto and Penny had to come in from the garden straight away, and we watched from the safety of the sitting room window. A swarm occurs when the Queen bee leaves an old nest to find a new one. The Queen decided to settle on the garden fence, so very quickly she was surrounded by her colony. There are lots of flowers in our garden and the honey bees have been busy collecting the nectar and pollen, as I showed you in a photo from Week 4!

Day 2

I phoned the local beekeeper and sent him some photos of the bees. He said he would be round the next morning as they wouldn’t want to stay on the fence for very long. In the wild, they prefer to make their nests in hollow trees and rocks. They are also valuable and need to be returned to a local hive.

Day 3

Oliver, the Beekeeper, arrived in the garden wearing a bee suit, gloves, a hood, and a veil. Every part of him was covered to protect him from the bees. Before he took any action, he set up a temporary bee hive on the grass. He then scooped as much of the colony up as he could using a dustpan and placed them (quickly) into the hive.

Day 4

Once the Queen and most of her colony are in the temporary hive, Oliver the Beekeeper put a sheet underneath it. This meant that any of the bees that had flown off to collect nectar and pollen, could climb up the sheet, a bit like a ramp. Oliver said it was a bit like the animals climbing into Noah’s Ark, two by two!

You have to have a lot of patience to be a Bee keeper, as Oliver had to wait over 2 hours for as many of the bees to return as possible. After all the bees can travel up to 2 miles to find what they need so it took them a while to get back to our garden!

After all the excitement, the bees are now in a local bee hive. The beehive will protect the bees from the cold and wet weather. Inside the hives, the honey bees build honeycombs and fill them with honey. The Beekeeper will collect the honey and put it in jars, ready for us to have on our toast!

 It’s so important to encourage bees into our gardens, parks and school garden. We can help by:

  • Planting bee friendly plants that are rich in nectar and pollen
  • Be calm around bees. If a bee flies near you, stay calm and move away slowly. It will soon realise you are not a flower and fly away!
  • Become a bee scientist by learning more about bees. Since the Queen and her colony visited my garden, I’ve read ‘The Bee Book’, which is a wonderful celebration of bees, illustrated and written by Charlotte Milner                                 
  • Make a bee hotel and encourage others to do the same ……spread the word!!